Sneak Peek! The Heidelberg Project


I don’t have much time to blog tonight because tomorrow is the first day of the fall term at PSU (excited!!). This is just a sneak peek of the photos I’m going to share tomorrow of The Heidelberg Project in Detroit, MI. This project is definitely one of the most unique things I’ve ever experienced!

New Project! Four Inch Experiments


I thought I was going to wait until my birthday next week to start a new project, but I had the idea and motivation today, so I decided to just go ahead and start now. I spent a large portion of the day cleaning and organizing my art desk and surrounding area in preparation for the new school year next week. It had been a long time since I had done a proper cleaning, so it was like turning the pages of a scrapbook as I cleaned up layers of projects that I have worked on over the last year. Now everything is mostly organized and in places that I can easily access, but the process of pulling it all out and putting it back together again was a little frightening.

I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF!! I knew that as evidenced by the piles of art supplies, and the fact that because it wasn’t very well organized I was buying duplicates of things I knew I already had, but couldn’t find. There are lots of art supplies that I was so excited to buy, but are still brand new, months or years after the purchase. I tried to collect a bag to take to SCRAP, but I couldn’t make myself give much away. It’s gotten to a critical mass in our small apartment, and I need to either use it or get rid of it. So, this project is my effort to use it.

The Rules!

01. I have to make one 4 x 4 inch square every day until October 3, 2015.
02. For this project, I can only use art supplies that I currently own, recycled items or natural materials that I did not have to purchase (grass, leaves, etc.).
03. Each month I will have a theme or sub-project that will direct the content of the work that I make. Through November 1, I will be working on making textures.
04. I have to take a photo of the work either as I’m making it, or with the supplies after it’s done.
05. I have to scan the finished work.
06. I have to document the art supplies that I used.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to put a ban on buying any art supplies at all for the year. To be honest, that would be a good idea considering everything I have, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to be that drastic yet. I’m going to think about it before I commit to not buying any new supplies at all.

I’m excited about this project, and I think it will force me to do a lot of experimenting with different materials!

Answering the Call to Create Street Art

Today I found my way to this video of a flash mob from a public library in Valladolid, Spain (via On Being Tumblr). Near the end I found tears in my eyes. If I’m being honest, a lot of flash mob videos make me cry. There is something so beautiful about a group of people making something that only exists for a moment, with the main intent of bringing more joy to the world. I watched the video twice, and both times I was fascinated by the reactions of the people in the library. On their faces you can see delight, amusement, excitement, curiosity, skepticism, annoyance and boredom. I love the way that one event can create such a wide range of personal experiences.

I have similar feelings about street art and graffiti, and other art forms like mail art and temporary works like those made by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. I love the idea of making something and releasing it to the world, with no intention of permanence. This is the work that feels alive in the world to me. Of course in this digital age, even the temporary can be preserved, but there is no guarantee of how long these formats will last, and if they will survive to have anyone asking questions in hundreds of years.

As a consequence of returning to school for a design and psychology degree, I’ve been thinking and asking myself a lot of questions about my intentions after I graduate. Luckily, I’m at the beginning of this journey and have a lot of time to think it over. Right now I don’t even know if I want to pursue art as a career. I’m happy to be working on answering the questions that swirl around in my head. What is the work that makes me feel joy? I keep going back to the idea of street art and other public art works. In my dream life I’d be brave enough to run around and spray paint walls in the middle of the night, but in actuality I am a staunch rule follower and would have a very difficult time knowingly doing something permanent and/or illegal.

So, I’ve been tossing around ideas of what I can do to put art out into the world that isn’t permanent. Works like urban cross stitch, chalk art or work made out of the landscape have caught my eye. I have a couple of ideas, and I’m going to start testing. I’ll share once I’ve put something out there. It will probably be small to start, but the calling is becoming too strong to ignore.

Dear readers, what is the work that makes you feel joy?

Sometimes Making Stuff is Hard to Do

Yellow Springs, OH
Ceiling detail from the marquee of the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs, OH

Thank heavens for my bestie who pokes me on Facebook, and tweets BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! at me when I miss days of blogging. When I start to stray I think about her wrath encouragement, and that gets me back on track. I have six more days of my September blog challenge.

I’ve noticed a curious lack of the sharing of images of anything created by me. I’m still in a bit of a maker’s funk. When I’m in my design classes, I dream of free time to do personal art projects, but now that I’ve been out of class for three weeks I’m floundering without the structure. Day jobs are essential, but can sometimes suck all of the energy out of you by the end of the day. And they also provide a convenient excuse to not do anything productive with your night, and to instead watch John Oliver videos on YouTube and make up hypothetical hipster baby names (Neon Gouda) for the child you’ll never have. What on earth did we do to procrastinate before the internet existed? I can’t even remember.

So, I suppose that’s it for tonight. I’m just a girl, staring at a blank page of a sketchbook, asking it to love her. Signing off from Procrastination City.

Ohio Street Art and Murals (2)

Detail from a mural in Yellow Springs, OH. These colors are so gorgeous!!
Close up of “Short North Gothic” by Steve Galgas and Mike Altman in Columbus, OH. I love the unusual composition. You can see a full image in another blog post about Columbus murals from 2013.
I’m so in love with the simple, but beautiful stripes on this little building. Yellow Springs, OH.
A portion of a mural in The Short North in Columbus, OH. This mural looked like a collaboration.
Mural near Summit St and Hudson St in Columbus, OH. The really bright colors on this one popped against the gloomy sky.

Sunday Seven: What’s Going On?


I’m reviving my Sunday Seven list series this week with a list of things I’m excited about in the next month or so. I also have lots of street art photos from Detroit to share, so I’ll be posting new photos as I edit them in the next week.

01. Home. I arrived back in Portland yesterday after two weeks in Ohio and Michigan visiting family and friends. I saw lots of amazing things, and it was great to take a break from work and school, but I’m really happy to be home and settling back into my regular life. It’s a great feeling to return from a vacation feeling refreshed and excited.

02. Farmers Markets. Autumn is when I am really grateful to be living in Portland. The farmers markets run through December. We went to the King Market in NE Portland today, and there was still lots of summer produce (strawberries, nectarines, corn), but winter squash was also there. I love to see the shift in seasons at the market, and autumn is one of my favorite seasons for produce. I’m especially excited for the arrival of asian pears.

03. Pattern Camp. I signed up for Jessica Swift’s two day intensive Pattern Camp in October, and I’m super excited about it. I’ve been making hand drawn patterns for a few years now, but I haven’t delved much into repeat patterns. I’m excited to learn how to take my pattern drawings to the next level.

04. Fall term. I finished summer term at PSU three weeks ago, and I’m starting fall term on September 30. I’m so excited about the classes I have lined up. The start of a new school year is just about the best thing ever. This week I’m going to be straightening up my art supplies and getting everything organized for the new year.

05. Design Week Portland. I feel so lucky to be studying design in Portland because there are so many opportunities for learning outside of class. Design Week Portland is a week long series of events, discussions, open houses, etc. running from October 4–October 11. The lineup is super impressive, and a lot of the events are either low cost or free.

06. Cooler weather. This summer has been the hottest I’ve experienced while living in Portland. While I do love the long summer days, the heat has been a little much, and I’m happy to see the forecast for the next ten days is mostly days in the 70s, with some rain predicted. I can’t wait for sweater weather!

07. New projects. With the start the new month, and my birthday coming up at the beginning of October, I’m tossing around ideas for a new daily project. So far I’m leaning toward a loose sketchbook project where I complete a square a day and stack them all in a box. I also have a couple of pattern projects I’m thinking about. I’ll share more details when I get started.

Detroit Street Art


I saw so many amazing things today. I can’t wait to unload my memory card and post the street art photos from today. Big thanks to my friend Nicole for driving me around the city for the whole day, and to the awesome people in Detroit who made such a colorful day possible.

Ohio Street Art and Murals

I’m heading to Detroit, MI tomorrow where I will undoubtedly find lots of street art to take photos of, so I thought I’d share round one of my Ohio street art and mural photos. I’ve been having so much fun walking and driving around to see these works. It’s one of my favorite things to do while traveling.

Work by Stephanie Rond on High Street in Clintonville
Work by Stephanie Rond on High Street in Clintonville
I may have snuck down an alley into a backyard to take this photo in Yellow Springs, OH
Peeling paint
Not technically street art or a mural, but this peeling paint is lovely
On the Columbus College of Art and Design campus
Alice in Wonderland themed mural near Summit and E Hudson in Columbus, OH
Alice in Wonderland themed mural near Summit and E Hudson in Columbus, OH
Detail from street art in Yellow Springs, OH

Ohio to Michigan Road Trip

On the road from Columbus, OH to East Lansing, MI
On the road from Columbus, OH to East Lansing, MI

I’m in Michigan visiting my aunt. I have a cat and a Kindle in bed with me, so naturally I have completely lost the will to blog. There are black squirrels here, so my day tomorrow has pretty much planned itself (squirrel photo hunt). Wish me luck in my search.